College of General Studies

Early Admission Option

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Early Admission Option for Graduate Study

Students with a GPA of 3.5 or better planning to pursue graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh may want to consider the Early Admission Option for Graduate Study. This option allows students to use the first 24 credits of graduate work as the last 24 elective credits of their undergraduate program. The following graduate schools at Pitt allow this option in conjunction with the CGS degree program:

  • Graduate School of Public and International Affairs Five-Year Accelerated Program for Pitt Undergraduates: High-achieving University of Pittsburgh juniors (and in some cases, first-semester seniors) in CGS may apply early to GSPIA. If admitted, they may enroll at GSPIA in what normally would have been their senior years, allowing them to complete both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a total of five years. Special eligibility requirements apply. Pitt undergraduates interested in this program should contact GSPIA at 412-648-7640.
  • Graduate School of Public Health: This early admission master's program seeks outstanding University of Pittsburgh undergraduates who want to become public health professionals. Students must have completed all undergraduate requirements except for elective courses by the end of their junior year. If accepted to the program, they will no longer be registered as an undergraduate after their junior year but rather as a Pitt Public Health student, and will take Pitt Public Health courses. Approximately 24 credits of these courses will serve as your undergraduate elective credits and will complete the requirements for your bachelor's degree.

The School of Law has a similar program for its Master of Studies in Law program for CGS Legal Studies students.


  • Students must be superior graduate school candidates and be admitted to the Pitt graduate program. Admissions requirements can be obtained from the graduate schools.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 96 credits toward the CGS degree, including all general education and major requirements, before the graduate program begins. In addition, the last 30 of the 96 undergraduate should be in residence in CGS. Satisfactory completion of these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the graduate program. This decision is made by the graduate program.
  • The graduate program must include at least 24 credits of graduate-level coursework. Students must earn a B or better grade in all graduate coursework. (S or H grades in the MSL program)
  • Twenty-four credits is the maximum number of graduate credits that can be used to fulfill elective requirements of the undergraduate degree. A student may seek to use fewer than 24 graduate credits toward their elective credits if they have already partially fulfilled their elective requirements.

Note: Students who choose this option must be aware that enrolling as a graduate student may affect their financial aid package. Students are responsible for contacting the Financial Aid Office regarding this issue.